Rore, Cipriano De

Cipriano De Rore was a Flemish composer who was born in 1515/6 in Ronse, a small town between Brussels and Courtrai (Belgium, in the 16th century The Netherlands). He moved to Italy while very young, possibly to the court of Margaretha of Parma, who was being wedded to a member of the De’ Medici family in 1530. There are recordings of his residence in Brescia where he was maestro di cappella from 1542 until 1546. He left Brescia for a post as choir master at the court of Duke Ercole II d’Este in Ferrara, where he wrote his famous Missa Praeter rerum seriem. Here he taught Luca Marenzio, Giaches de Wert en Luzzasco Luzzaschi.
When Ercole died in 1559, his successor Alfonso refused to employ De Rore, so he moved to Munich to accept an employment from Albrecht V who fervently admired De Rore already. This admiration culminated in a colorful, beautifully illustrated and calligraphed choir book with secular and religious motets, with portraits of Albrecht V, his wife ánd De Rore’s. This very choir book is the source for the here presented bundle.
Lassus however was the court composer and choir master in Munich, and De Rore wanted to come out of his shadow. So he accepted a new employment at the house of Margaretha of Parma from 1560-1563. Margaretha was the governor of The Netherlands in Brussels, for King Philip II from Spain.
In 1563, when Adrian Willaert died, De Rore became maestro di cappella at St. Mark’s in Venice. But he resigned already after one year and he moved to Parma where he died in 1564.
De Rore got his musical inspiration from Josquin Desprez. He is most famous for his madrigals, but he was also prolific in composing sacred music: masses, motets, psalms and a Passion of John. He published 10 books of madrigals between 1542 and 1565, more than 120 in total. The character of the madrigals is rather serious, in contrast with the more frivolous style of his predecessors from Flanders: Philippe Verdelot and Jacob Arcadelt.
De Rore has been called ‘the inventor of the seconda prattica’ by Giulio Cesare Monteverdi, a younger brother of Claudio Monteverdi. This seconda prattica was an important evolution in musical thinking. This means that from that moment on text, meaning, sound and rhythm determine the musical idiom. ‘First the words, then the music’ was a progressive keyword in those days.
Cees Wagemakers